Frank Marshal’s Journey Into The Heavy Metal Subculture Of Sub-Saharan Africa

Heavy Metal africa

Frank Marshall

Frank Marshall

Frank Marshall

Renegades, a photographic series by Frank Marshal, captures the Heavy Metal subculture in Sub-Saharan Africa.

As we know, Heavy Metal audiences have traditionally been Caucasian and Eurocentric. All of these things, however, are not an obvious description of Sub-Saharan Africa. Marshall’s portraits offer a vision of an unlikely Heavy Metal subculture in Botswana, his subjects are an anomaly, a reaction to a strictly occidental genre. Marshall aptly labels his subjects as renegades, as he renders portraits of rebellious individuals who form part of “an ulterior, emergent rootedness where traditional identities and political histories in Botswana are subverted”. Furthermore, Marshal’s portraits break down established archetypes of ethnicity, cultural identity, and ideology. These individuals are on the fringe of a society that is already situated within the ‘geographical and ideological’ space of the Other, meaning that they are already viewed as exotic by the Occident.

The peculiar thing here is, that we see the ‘Other’ under an completely unpredictable light.

Tribe-like, Heavy Metal possesses an unconscious sense of brotherhood that transcends race and nationality in the context of Renegades. So too, Marshall’s renegades unpack popular stereotypes, transcending traditions, blurring the boundaries between liberty and fraternity, helping to delineate the power structures inherent to Heavy Metal, which may be misinterpreted as a trace of an oppressive past. This is in keeping with the extremism of Heavy Metal ideology, embracing anything that popular culture finds unacceptable.

(via Rooke Gallery)

Heavy Metal Art: Banks Violette And Seven Other Artists On The Spectrum Of Dark And Gritty

Banks Violette

Banks Violette

Skinner

Skinner

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Ben Venom

This weekend on Beautiful Decay we want to welcome you over to the dark side, where a vast amount of artists are churning out contemporary art fueled by the fire of Metal.  A multitude of artists these days are making art inspired by the crushing sounds and dark spirit of Heavy Metal, Death Metal and Doom music, all of which weave in and out of several other genres.

I’ve been a huge fan for a while now of the work made by artists Skinner, Ben Venom and Martin Durazo, which are strongly informed by Heavy Metal.  This past week after chatting with artist and Beautiful Decay owner, Amir H. Fallah and artist Skinner and reaching out on Facebook to learn more about artists tied into this music scene, I was turned onto a breadth of incredible artists.  A lot of artists working with metal as inspiration have strong crossover into design and illustration, album art, posters (especially for the band Mastadon), band merch and murals.  There’s also a strong genre of work that explores dark spiritual matter, mythology and death that is absolutely captivating.  You can expect upcoming coverage of these sub-genres in coming weeks.

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Othelo Gervacio’s Washed Out Graphics

 

Othelo Gervacio’s Horror/Skate/Metal ink wash work is where it’s at. Gervacio’s technique renders skeletons, reapers, and ghosts just softly enough to mix up the whole graphics game. With a nice mix of controlled bleeding and tight line work, this is a prime example of how this stuff should be done. Where Neckface might parody, Gervacio comes in and celebrates, proving that imitation is not always a form of surrendered creativity.

Sterling Bartlett’s Heavy Metal Illustrations

The drawings of Los Angeles based illustrator Sterling Bartlett are a perfect mix of heavy metal cool and Ironic humor. Each drawing is a perfect iconic image that grabs your attention from a mile away yet is easy to digest in just a few seconds. Perhaps that’s why he creates graphics for some of our favorite LA based clothing lines such as Blood Is The New Black and Krew Denim.

Joana Avillez is a Radical Comic Book Drawing Machine

Joana Avillez is a radical comic book drawing machine from Manhattan, NYC.  Her work exists in a universe all her own where old timey cartoons wear Geta shoes and one-of-a-kind hats, while reading old issues of Heavy Metal and Raw, over a nice hot bowl of asian soup. Buy copies of her most recent book “Life Dressing: The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas” here.

CANSON WET PAINT GRANT RECIPIENT: Skinner

The art of Skinner is full of mullets, monsters and metal heads, not to mention the lurkers, samurai and lil’ devils. The self-proclaimed nerd for life takes inspiration from the world of fantasy, giving life to the dreams (or sometimes nightmares) of Slayer fans and Dungeon masters everywhere. The beautifully detailed works combine the aesthetics of street art, comic book illustrations, and something akin to black velvet paintings on acid. Each work has such an immense sense of epicness, it’s hard to not get caught up in the world created. And while many of the paintings and drawings convey infinitely complex scenes that you could look at for hours, Skinner also makes lighter works that are hard not to love, especially when they’re called things like Eternal Jamnation, and have a dark, glowing monster jamming on a guitar, surrounded by bats. It’s the kind of work that just oozes passion, because no one could make images so far from reality without being totally immersed in the process. It’s like a Metalocolypse Halloween episode 365 days a year. But, despite the awesome appearance of his work, Skinner is extremely introspective and self-critical, constantly challenging himself as an artist and working to create something completely innovative. His determination to return to a more childlike inspiration, a time when “it was just raw freedom, there were no expectations, there were no ideas of good or bad it was just being in the moment and trying [his] best to do something that looks good.”

Awesome Video Of The Day: Barbariön – My Rock

We usually post only one video a day but I thought we’d throw caution to the wind today and do an entire day of videos. Lets start the morning right with a mega epic video by my new favorite band, Barbariön. Join me in headbanging the start of the day after the jump.